M&A wrap: OEP, HKEX, London Stock Exchange, MidOcean, Kinderhook, Most Influential Women

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Middle-market private equity firm One Equity Partners has raised its seventh fund at $1.75 billion, its largest to date, which raises the firm's assets under management to $6.5 billion. The fund, the second since OEP was spun off of JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM) in 2015, has made nine investments including: technology services firm Orion Business Innovation; long-term healthcare services provider Ernest Health; video software company MediaKind; and European original equipment and aftermarket parts distributor Walterscheid. OEP invests up to $300 million in equity across the healthcare, industrial and technology sectors. Since the firm was founded in 2001, it has invested $8.2 billion in 74 middle-market companies. “We look forward to continue unlocking value for our investors, remaining focused on our middle market investment strategy, and building upon our long-term track record in global private equity investing,” says OEP president Dick Cashin.

The New York Yankees advanced to the American League Championship Series this week. Alex Rodriguez is best known as the former Yankees star who hit 696 home runs over the course of his 22-year baseball career, but today he’s making a name for himself as an investor and the founder and CEO of A-Rod Corp. One recent example: While serving as a guest judge on CNBC’s Shark Tank, Rodriguez backed Ice Shaker, an insulated bottle maker founded by former National Football League fullback Chris Gronkowski. Rodriguez talked about his life off the field at EisnerAmper’s 4th Annual Alternative Investment Summit. Read the full story: A-Rod talks Ice Shaker, NRG eSports, J. Lo & maybe buying a baseball team.

The Deadline is coming up. At Mergers & Acquisitions, we've begun work on one of our most popular projects of the year: the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. The deadline for nominations is Oct. 14. Last year, we honored 36 women, including Marilyn Adler (Medley Capital), Jennifer Cotton (Madison Capital Funding), Nishita Cummings (Kayne Anderson), Venita Fields (Pelham S2K), Jeri Harman (Avante Mezzanine Partners), Pam Hendrickson (the Riverside Co.), Gretchen Perkins (Huron Capital) and Trisha Renner (Baird). Who will make it on this year's list? To be considered, candidates must be women who are outstanding dealmakers both inside and outside of their firms. Evidence of influence in the broader M&A industry is essential. When nominating a candidate, please explain how she outperforms her colleagues at her firm and in the industry. Please provide examples of deals she has led, initiatives she has launched and other instances that show evidence of her influence in the middle market. An important guide to what we're looking for can be found in the dealmakers we've honored in previous years. See profiles of, and Q&As with, past honorees here.

TO NOMINATE A CANDIDATE, CLICK HERE.

DEAL NEWS
Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. abruptly dropped its 29.6 billion-pound ($36.2 billion) unsolicited takeover bid for London Stock Exchange Group Plc after opposition from the U.K. company and a cool reception from Beijing. The decision is a rare setback for HKEX CEO Charles Li, who saw London at the center of trading between Eastern and Western markets. Read the full story by Bloomberg News: HKEX drops bid for London Stock Exchange.

Comestics company Shiseido Americas Corp. is buying skincare brand Drunk Elephant. Jefferies and Jones Day are advising Shiseido. The target is being advised by Financo, Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC) and Sidley Austin.

Carroll Capital has acquired Elevator Service LLC. Ice Miller LLP and Baker Tilly advised Carroll Capital. Maven Group, Varnum LLP and Hungerford Nichols advised the target.

MidOcean Partners-backed Jones & Frank has purchased Petroluem Solutions. The target offers petroleum equipment distribution, maintenance and installation services. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP advised the buyers.

Kinderhook Industries has acquired Copperweld Bimetallics LLC, a maker and distributor of wiring and steel products. Kirkland & Ellis advised Kinderhook. Financing was provided by Twin Brook Capital Partners.

Victor Capital Partners has invested in Rizzo Group, a provider of building code and zoning compliance, construction inspection and energy management for the commercial real estate sector.

PEOPLE MOVES
Michael Hollander was promoted to managing director and Stephen Master and KJ McConnell were promoted to principal at PE firm GTCR.

Adam Garcia Eveloff and Beth Lesniak were hired as managing directors, and Jason Sondell was promoted to the same position at PE firm Norwest Equity Partners. Eveloff was previously was with Castanea Partners, while Lesniak was most recently with Grey Mountain Partners.

FEATURED CONTENT
The private equity model has held up very well over the decades, continuing to outperform the public markets, even as economic cycles come and go. But the rate of growth has slowed, leading PE firms to seek adjacent areas of business to expand to. As PE firms face increased pressure to produce higher returns on their investments, many of them are turning to a familiar area of business: lending. Middle-market loans offer a potential growth path for PE firms, including Adams Street, Balance Point, Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) and VSS, many of whom view credit as a natural extension of their bread-and-butter operations. Read our full coverage: Private equity firms are becoming lenders. Here’s why.

It’s a milestone year for the Blackstone Group Inc. (NYSE: BX), which transitioned from a publicly traded partnership to a corporation on July 1. Most recently, the New York firm announced the final close of its latest global real estate fund With $20.5 billion of total capital commitments, Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX is the largest real estate fund ever raised. Mergers & Acquisitions spoke with Stephen A. Schwarzman, the firm’s co-founder, chairman and CEO. Read the full story: "Complete control" is the beauty of private equity, says Blackstone's Stephen A. Schwarzman.

Bank M&A has been soaring, creating the perfect backdrop for Piper Jaffray’s announced acquisition of Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP. “There has been a lot of consolidation in the bank space,” Piper Jaffray CEO Chad Abraham told Mergers & Acquisitions. “But there are still 5,000 banks, and we expect the pace of consolidation to continue.” For analysis of the deal, see Counting on bank M&A: Why Piper Jaffray bought Sandler O'Neill.

Looking for a glimpse of what’s to come in the private equity industry? Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. As the PE industry undergoes a generational shift, and many firm founders retire, it’s well worth getting to know these emerging leaders, including Branford's Austin Collier, Sterling Partners' Shawn Domanic and Summit Partners' Sophia Popova. For profiles and video interviews, see Meet Mergers & Acquisitions' 2019 Rising Stars of Private Equity. For Q&As, see 10 Rising Stars of Private Equity tell their tales.

To celebrate deals, dealmakers and dealmaking firms, Mergers & Acquisitions produces three special reports every year: the M&A Mid-Market Awards; the Rising Stars of Private Equity; and the Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. For more on the timeline and nomination process for each, see Special reports overview: M&A Mid-Market Awards, Rising Stars, Most Influential Women.

EVENTS
M&A East is taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Oct. 22-23.

ACG Charlotte is hosting Deal Crawl at the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, Nov. 6-7.

Third Annual Women in Alternative Investments Career Forum is taking place at the New York Hilton on Nov. 8.

ACG New York is hosting Middle Market Week in New York from Nov. 11-15.

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